Described by DC as “a new vision,” the book is set 35 years after the Watchmen character “Ozymandias was exposed for dropping a giant telepathic squid on New York City, killing thousands and ending the public’s trust in heroes once and for all.” This is, of course, an extrapolation of what happened after the classic work by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons ended. As with the recently-concluded Watchmen television show on HBO, the story will involve “the infamy of Rorschach, who has become a cultural icon since Dr. Manhattan turned him to dust.”
In the publisher’s press release (which you can find in full below), a quote from King describes the book as both “very political” and “an angry work.”
This 12-issue format has become King’s signature with the publisher, and this new series will join a list of critically-lauded works written by King within that format that now includes The Vision, The Omega Men, Sheriff of Babylon, Mister Miracle, and the ongoing Strange Adventures. King has collaborated with a range of artists on these books, including Gabriel Walta, Mitch Gerads, and Doc Shaner. His collaborator on this new book, Fornes, is one King has worked with in the past, doing so during his 85-issue run on the flagship Batman title.
This new book joins a wave of Watchmen sequel material, including the aforementioned television show, as well as the Doomsday Clock 12-issue series by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank, which wrapped up at the end of last year. These additions to the 1986 comic’s mythology have all been done without the blessing of Moore, so much so that his name no longer appears in the credits for having created the characters. DC Comics has also of late integrated some of the long-separate Watchmen characters into its mainstream superhero universe, with Doctor Manhattan specifically appearing in comics about The Flash, as well as in DC’s current big summer event, Dark Nights: Death Metal.
The full press release from DC Comics can be found below, along with preview artwork from the interior of the first issue.
DC proudly presents a new 12-issue maxiseries debuting this October by Tom King (Mister Miracle) and Jorge Fornés (Batman), together delivering a new vision of one of the most riveting characters from Watchmen—a figure in a fedora and a trench coat, loved by some, reviled by others—Rorschach.
It’s been 35 years since Ozymandias was exposed for dropping a giant telepathic squid on New York City, killing thousands and ending the public’s trust in heroes once and for all. The Minutemen are gone; only their memory lives on. Especially the infamy of Rorschach, who has become a cultural icon since Dr. Manhattan turned him to dust.
Rorschach may have spoken truth, but he wasn’t a hero.
“Like the HBO Watchmen show and very much like the original ‘86 Watchmen, this is a very political work.” said King. “It’s an angry work. We’re so angry all the time now. We have to do something with that anger. It’s called Rorschach not because of the character Rorschach, but because what you see in these characters tells you more about yourself than about them.”
So what does it mean when Rorschach reappears as part of a pair of assassins trying to kill the first candidate to oppose President Robert Redford in decades? Follow one determined detective as he walks backward in time, uncovering the identities and motives of the would-be killers, taking him deep into a dark conspiracy of alien invasions, disgraced do-gooders, mystical visions, and yes, comic books.
Writer Tom King joins forces with artist Jorge Fornés to explore the mythic qualities of one of the most compelling characters from the bestselling graphic novel of all time, Watchmen.
Rorschach #1, by Tom King, Jorge Fornés, Dave Stewart and Clayton Cowles, will publish on October 13, 2020, and carry DC’s Black Label descriptor, identifying the content as appropriate for readers ages 17+. The book will retail for $4.99 with card stock cover artwork by Fornés and a variant cover by Jae Lee.
Rorschach character co-created by Dave Gibbons.